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A small c catholic

An ethical base for politics must come from all of us


For several weeks now I have been marinating in the speech Pope Benedict XVI gave to a Westminster Hall full of British politicians on his recent journey to the United Kingdom.

What has especially engaged me is what he described as “the central question at issue,” which is, “Where is the ethical foundation for political choices to be found?”

To avoid clergy burnout, parishioners have to lend a hand


Last year as I was gathering information to write the centennial celebration book for a large Catholic parish in Kansas City, Mo., I asked the current priest and several men who formerly served there as priests to gather for conversation.

I wanted to unpack their brains to help me understand what makes Visitation Catholic Parish tick.

On 9/11, finding hope for Islam in America


I am finding this ninth anniversary of 9/11 even more troubling than the eight before it.

For my family each 9/11 lacerates our hearts anew because my 31-year-old nephew, the son of one of my three sisters, was a passenger on American Flight 11 -- the first plane that hijackers smashed into the World Trade Center. Karleton Fyfe was simply a fabulous young husband, father (his wife was early in her pregnancy with their second son when Karleton died), son, brother, cousin, nephew, friend, and businessman.

Seeking religious harmony, the urgent call of our time


In speeches and columns over many years I have made the point that interfaith understanding is vital if there's to be any hope for world peace.

And America — a stunning amalgam of ethnic and religious traditions — can be a model for the world in this regard.

In fact, if the call of the 20th century for Americans was to work toward racial harmony, the call of the 21st century is to seek religious harmony in our increasingly pluralistic culture.


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In This Issue

August 15-28, 2014


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